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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 24 May, 2019
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Ireland U17s beaten in final game before European Championships

Colin O’Brien’s side lost out 2-1 to Finland in Tallaght this afternoon.

Ireland's starting line-up.
Ireland's starting line-up.
Image: Eóin Noonan/SPORTSFILE

Republic of Ireland 1
Finland 2

IRELAND’S U17S have suffered defeat in their final warm-up game before this summer’s Uefa European Championships. 

Ahead of the tournament, which takes place around Ireland from 3 May, Colin O’Brien’s side faced a double-header against Finland over the space of four days. 

Having lost 1-0 in Waterford on Friday, the Boys in Green enjoyed the perfect start at Tallaght Stadium today — scoring in the third minute through Manchester United’s Charlie McCann. 

After Mipo Odubeko’s was blocked, the midfielder was quickest to react to find the back of the net. 

However, the away team levelled terms on 35 minutes as Sampo Ala capitalised on slack Irish defending. 

And just before half-time, Finland went in front through Naatan Skytta — his free-kick deflecting past Jimmy Corcoran. 

“We had a really good performance,” O’Brien said afterwards, despite the result. “We didn’t deserve to lose the game. We had the better of the game for the first 30 minutes.

It was a really good test. We’re happy with the test we got. We didn’t have it all our way, and we won’t have it all our way in the tournament.”

“The players will be disappointed with the result, but there is a lot to be proud of from today.”

Ireland will discover their group for the finals when the draw is made in Dublin on 4 April. 

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Jimmy Corcoran; Sean McEvoy (Timi Sobowale 55), Andrew Omobamidele, Luke Turner, James Furlong, Joe Hodge, Seamas Keogh (capt), Sean Kennedy (Matt Everitt 55), Charlie McCann, Conor Carty; Ademipo Odubeko (Ronan McKinley 71).

FINLAND: Roope Paunio; Lassi Forss, Samuel Uusitalo, Tony Miettinen (capt), Juho Lehitranta; Paul Katajamak (Juho Kilo 76)i, Doni Arifi (Juho Ojanen 76), Ville Koski (Santeri Vaananen 61), Martin Salin (Eetu Rissanen 61); Naatan Skytta (Karlo Rimtamaki 90+1), Sampo Ala (Samuel Anini Jr. 61).

Referee: Alan Carey.

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Ben Blake

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